what are its side effects and how to avoid them?

Salbutamol (known in some cases as albuterol) is a medication widely prescribed by health professionals for patients with diseases such as bronchial asthma and various difficulties with the bronchi.

It is generally used in about three different presentations: in tablets and syrups that are ingested orally or in aerosol, through inhalers. It is often recommended to control asthma attacks.

“Albuterol is a type of medication called a short-acting bronchodilator. It produces asthma attack relief by relaxing the smooth muscles of the airways.” according to the Mayo Clinic in the United States.

That medical institution warns that it is key to take into account that salbutamol can have side effects in some patients.

Among other things, the Mayo Clinic maintains that people who receive this medication may experience symptoms such as nervousness, tremors, nasal irritation, and headache.. They also cite other less common side effects such as increased heart rate and a feeling that the heart is pounding.

There are some recommendations that can be taken into account so that the side effects do not appear or, at least, reduce their intensity.

One of the measures that health professionals can implement is to change the way in which the medicine is supplied to patients.

Asthma can affect people of all ages, although it usually presents from childhood. – Photo: Getty Images

“Albuterol side effects are less likely if you use an inhaler instead of taking it as a tablet or liquid. If you use a nebulizer to inhale the medication, you can lessen symptoms by switching to a metered-dose inhaler.” warns the Mayo Clinic.

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And he adds that if people already have a mid-dose inhaler, they may choose to use a “camera device,” which attaches directly to the inhaler.

Another alternative that both patients and their treating physicians can consider has to do with finding other ways to mitigate asthma. In fact, the Mayo Clinic warns that salbutamol should not be used frequently, as it is a reactive medication that is used when there are “obvious symptoms.”

Reducing the dose of salbutamol may help reduce its side effects. – Photo: Getty Images

To that extent, medical professionals could implement changes in the general treatment that patients receive so that such frequent doses of salbutamol are not required.

Finally, the Mayo Clinic points out that they can simply lower the amount of doses that patients take each time, as it can help relieve asthma symptoms and, in turn, mitigate the side effects of salbutamol.

Likewise, salbutamol has some contraindications. According to a description of this product that is available on the website of the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, it is essential to take into account the effects it generates in pregnant women.

“Studies on mice using subcutaneous and oral doses several times higher than the maximum human doses by inhalation, have recorded cleft palate and other malformations,” indicates the description made by Unam.

Meanwhile, in experiments carried out with rabbits, scientists have identified that with a high dose the pups can present developmental problems in their skulls. However, it is cautioned that there is no reliable research on this effect in humans.

Asthma usually causes breathing difficulties that require medications such as salbutamol. – Photo: Forums Week
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And they also indicate that salbutamol can generate an inhibition in the contractions of the uterus, which could cause labor to be delayed. “However, although this effect seems unlikely when using inhalation, it must be taken into account during the third trimester (of pregnancy),” reads the description of Unam.

Meanwhile, the recommendation for women who are breastfeeding is to stop breastfeeding or simply not use salbutamol.

Additionally, it is recommended to store this medicine at temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius in cool and dry places.

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